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Epicurean Hotel Hosts Fifth Annual “Epic Chef Showdown” to Benefit Feeding Tampa Bay

Posted by Kelly Stafford, June 2019

TAMPA, Fla. (June 27, 2018) – The Epicurean Hotel is hosting the fifth annual Epic Chef Showdown to benefit Feeding Tampa Bay, the area’s largest food rescue and distribution organization. The Epic Chef Showdown is a seven-week competition pitting eight of the Tampa Bay area’s top restaurants against each other in a friendly cooking competition judged by a panel of local celebrities and notable food writers. Each week, beginning Monday, July 15, two competing chefs will receive a mystery box of ingredients not commonly prepared together, and will be challenged to create two unique dishes under the pressure of the clock. When time is up, each dish will be judged and one restaurant will be eliminated, with the winner moving on to the next round. Other competition dates are July 22, 29 and August 5, August 12 and 19 (semi-finals) and August 26 (finale).

Participating local restaurants include Ichicoro Imoto, The Mill, Mise en Place, Noble Crust, Oxford Exchange, Parkshore Grill, Red Mesa and Rooster & the Till. Each week, the event will be hosted by Chef Jeff Philbin of “MasterChef” fame. Judges will rotate each week and include personalities ranging from former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Vincent Jackson and Sheriff Chad Chronister to local on-air media talent including WFLA’s Stacie Schaible and Ian Beckles from WDAE sports radio.

“We’re very proud that this amazing event is now in its fifth year and that each year we’ve been able to expand it to better showcase our incredible partner, Feeding Tampa Bay, and support their mission of bringing awareness to the hunger issues in our community,” said Kevin Scott, general manager of the Epicurean Hotel.

“Heading into our 5th anniversary of Epic Chef Showdown, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the meaningful relationships and conversations the event has created around the mission of hunger relief,” said Thomas Mantz, President & CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay. “Each and every one of us has a connection to food in some way, whether it be a favorite childhood memory, a time when your family pauses from the daily hustle and bustle, or – in the case of our amazing chefs – an art that you share with others. There are many reasons to celebrate food and the very life it gives us all. With the vision of a hunger-free Tampa Bay, we aim to create these memories and moments for hundreds of thousands of families across the Tampa Bay region.”

Epic Chef Showdown events will take place inside the Epicurean Hotel’s Epicurean Theatre from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. A limited number of tickets to the public are available for $250 for a pair of two (finale is $350 for two), which includes a coursed meal with wine pairings, inspired by the participating restaurants and Élevage. Those without tickets can watch from the lobby area, where the event will be shown on big screen TVs. In addition, Epic Chef Showdown will be streamed LIVE through The Identity Tampa Bay’s channel and mobile app and in the Epicurean Hotel guest rooms. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

Epic Chef Showdown sponsors include Florida Blue (title sponsor), Epicurean Hotel/Mainsail Lodging & Development, The Identity Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning, Bank of America, Coca Cola Beverages Florida, Sysco, Breakthru Beverages, ChappellRoberts, Grey Robinson, Reeves Import Motorcars, Steve Heiser-Harvard Jolly Architecture and the Tampa Bay Times.

Located in the trendy Hyde Park historic district of South Tampa, Florida, the food-focused Epicurean Hotel features a state-of-the-art culinary classroom known as the Epicurean Theatre; Élevage, a restaurant where Southern hospitality meets French technique; EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge; Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits wine shop; Evangeline full-service spa; and 5,200-square feet of flexible event space. The Epicurean Hotel was developed in collaboration with Mainsail Lodging & Development and the legendary Bern’s Steak House and is the first newly constructed hotel property in the United States to join the prestigious Autograph Collection® of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR).

For information and reservations at the Epicurean Hotel, call (855) U-AWAKEN (829-2536) or visit  For more information on Feeding Tampa Bay, visit


Feeding Tampa Bay

As the backbone of hunger relief, Feeding Tampa Bay is the largest food rescue and distribution organization in our community, serving a food-insecure population of more than 600,000 people in a 10-county region. Feeding Tampa Bay recovers surplus food from local growers, manufacturers, supermarkets, and organized community food drives and distributes it to those in need through direct programs and a partnership network of 500 community partners. Last year, Feeding Tampa Bay supplied 55 million meals to our neighbors, 4.5 million meals every month to those who would otherwise go hungry. With the support of our partners, team and community we IMAGINE a hunger-free Tampa Bay – providing 115 million meals with dignity every year by 2025.



About Mainsail Lodging & Development LLC
Mainsail Lodging & Development is a Tampa-based hospitality company that develops and operates lodging products in the Southeastern US and the Caribbean. Their property portfolio includes four Autograph Collection Hotels: Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina (, a private island resort in the British Virgin Islands; the boutique, food-focused Epicurean Hotel ( in Tampa, Florida; Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club ( on Anna Maria Island, Florida; and the historic Fenway Hotel ( in Dunedin, Florida; as well as Mainsail Beach Inn (, a boutique beachfront hotel on Anna Maria Island, Florida. The company also operates corporate housing throughout the Southeast, exclusively managing the Florida, Georgia and Tennessee markets for Oakwood Worldwide® under both its ExecuStay® ( and Oakwood® ( brands. Mainsail Lodging also manages a portfolio of private vacation homes through its Mainsail Vacation Rentals ( brand and is a select partner of Homes & Villas by Marriott International. Additional future projects include Luminary Hotel & Co. ( in Fort Myers, Florida; a 128-room Residence Inn in conjunction with an indoor sports complex in Pasco County, Florida; and a historic boutique hotel in Macon, Georgia. Mainsail Lodging’s corporate charity is Feeding Tampa Bay, the largest food rescue and distribution organization in the community. Mainsail actively supports the cause through a variety of employee and guest programs ranging from packing and sorting at the warehouse, to annual events such as the Epic Chef Showdown. Learn more at

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For more information, please call the general manager of the hotel.

Main entrance
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